The August winners for the Sky Bet League Two Player and Manager of the Month award are...
Manager: Matt Taylor (Exeter City)
Exeter City manager Matt Taylor has been named the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for August.
Three times in August his side plundered a winning goal in the final five minutes of a match. That turned an average start into an outstanding one with 14 points from six games.
Taylor has his players fit and hungry to mount a promotion challenge.
Taylor said: “It’s been a good month, but that’s all down to the players. I’ve got a great support staff which I’m grateful for, and if a manager is awarded the manager of the month then it’s because the results are there – and that’s simply down to the players.
“You want to keep on playing well, you want to keep on picking up points. We had a private meeting this morning where the emphasis was on the opportunities to come in the next few weeks, and we’ve got to make the most of them.
“The lads seem to be enjoying their football and their training. They’re working hard, but sport is strange, and it changes so quickly. A bit of luck here and there, which we’ve had so far this season, but the performances need to keep on building and I’m going to keep asking for more from this group.”
Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.
He said: “Matt Taylor is another talented up and coming new manager. He has embraced the lead role at Exeter very well indeed following a terrific playing career especially at Exeter.
“Finishing just outside the play-offs last season I’m sure Matt will expect his team to challenge strongly again for promotion to Sky Bet League One this season.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It’ll be a worrying thing to hear for the chasing pack in League Two when Matt Taylor believes that Exeter aren’t even playing their best football yet, despite being on top of the pile at this early stage.
“Their early season results have been built on a solid defensive foundation with teams finding it hard to breach them. That has enabled the Grecians to remain unbeaten so far and given them a platform on which to build a promotion charge.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Matt Taylor has enjoyed an excellent start to his managerial career as his Exeter side top the table after seven games.
“The Grecians were 5/1 for promotion to League One before a ball was kicked and are now as short as 7/4 to go up in a hugely competitive division.”
Player: James Hanson (Grimsby Town)
Grimsby Town striker James Hanson has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for August.
Strikers just want to be loved and at Blundell Park, Hanson has been made the focal point of the Grimsby attack - given the supply of crosses on which he thrives.
Five goals and two assists in August included a towering header at Walsall.
Grimsby Town manager Michael Jolley said: “He got five goals and three assists in August so the award was much-deserved.
“And, more than that, the impact on our team – he’s a big threat in the box, but also outside the box he works very hard.
“He’s a very humble guy, and he’s willing to work hard for the team – he runs around a lot.
“And we’re very pleased to have him so well done to him for the award.”
Hanson said: “When you come to a new club you always try and hit the ground running, and thankfully I’ve done that so far.
“I’ve managed to get five goals and three assists and, more importantly, the team has started quite well so I’m happy.
“I’m delighted to get it, and it just shows how well we’re doing as a team as well, and the gaffer was in the nominees for the Manager of the Month award.
“So it just shows that we’re on the right track, and we’ve started how we wanted to start.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “Grimsby have taken everyone by surprise this season by the way they’ve come out of the blocks and Hanson has been central to their attacking output.
“Having played a crucial part in AFC Wimbledon’s survival last season, he’s moved down a division and is using all the experience gained from making over 350 EFL appearances to the benefit of Grimsby.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Thanks to James Hanson’s five goals in the first six matches Grimsby have been a surprise package in League Two.
“Not much was expected of The Mariners this season, but they sit in seventh place with eleven points after seven matches.
“Hanson along with his team mates will be hoping to continue to prove people wrong as they aim to stay in the promotion places and the former Bradford man is 16/1 to win the Golden Boot having been as big as 66/1 pre-season.”